Recently Realtor.com addressed the top places in the United States showing powerful upward growth potential for real estate.  The number 1 connection with all of the cities ares JOBS.  Listed below are the areas mentioned by Realtor.com showing growth of 10-20% within the last 5 years.

Power Ranch (Seville and Trilogy) in Gilbert, AZ.

Culture Center (downtown) Los Angeles, CA

Downtown Dallas, Texas

Downtown Miami, FL

Mountain Edge in Las Vegas, NV

Belltown in Seattle, WA

Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY

Village of Rolesville, NC

The Loop, Chicago, Illinois

The Station, Atlanta Georgia 

Coupled with this list Realtor. com addressed the type (style) home that sells the fastest.

Spanish style homes average 47 days on the market.  Followed by Traditional style of 84 days; Ranch style 95 days; Craftsman 103 days and Victorian 122 days.

I recall one real estate expert telling me that one should look for a Starbucks, Home Depot and a Wal-Mart in the area you wish to invest in.  He also included "not to buy in an area you would not like to live".